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Perhaps the name E T I is not

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					ETI Q u iessence C ables




P
           erhaps the name E T I is not          of pure silv er. Similarly, the plug’s cen-          sure whether that was good or bad. A ll
           familiar. It stands for Eichmann      tral tube is copper, but the pin which               the same, the sound was rich and sump-
           T echnolog ies I nter national, and   contacts the jack’s ground collar is silv er.        tuous. Y et…
           it’s the new appellation of the       M adness? W e shall see.                                 Y et there was a difference we really
company built around K eith E ichmann’s              T hese Q 1 00 interconnects are at the           noticed only once we had listened a
mav erick ideas.                                 lower end of the new Q uiessence line,               second time. T he v olume seemed a
    T his isn’t the first time E ichmann          which line soars well up into the sky. T he          bit lower, though we had not touched
has designed cables to be sure, though           top interconnects are ov er $ 8 000. T hese,         the controls, but it wasn’t r eally lower.
he is better known for his connectors,           by comparison, are a bargain at $ 4 9 5 .            “ W here did all that natural rev erbera-
which hav e been a worldwide hit, and            T he connectors may be familiar, since               tion go?” asked Reine. A lbert wondered
hav e ev en stimulated imitators (see D o        E T I sells them to many manufacturers               that too. “ T he organ is less daz z ling,”
C onnector s M atter ? in this issue).           and also to consumers who want to use                he said, “ and its sound doesn’t ‘bloom’
    W hat makes them special, as possibly        them on their own cables.                            as much.”
you know, is that they are made with the             W e performed the comparison in our                  N ex t we went to the opposite ex treme,
strict minimum of conducting metal,              A lpha room, with the Q 1 00’s swapped               an instrument that, at times, plays infi-
the rest being plastic. T he metal parts         for our reference cables between our                 nitely softly, namely the harp. T here
that ar e used are of good quality — pure        L inn U nidisk player and our C opland               aren’t many good solo harp recordings
copper, plated with gold to av oid tarnish-      tube preamplifier.                                    in the world, but Susann M cDonald’s
ing — and their geometry is similar                                                                   C ap r ice (K lav ier K 1 1 1 33) is one of them.
to that of the cable itself. T hat this          The Q 1 00 in ter c o n n ec t s                     W e listened to M arcel T ournier’s V er s
approach is a fruitful one is something               W e selected three recordings we                u ne sou r ce d ans le b ois, in which cascades
we hav e v erified for ourselv es.                considered to be especially rev ealing,              of tiny notes ev oke cascades of water
    T hese new upscale cables are in line        and of course listened to them twice.                droplets from a stream in the woods.
with the ideas that led K eith E ichmann              T he first was the B ach T occata &             T alk about fragile!
to part with conv entional wisdom. See           F u g u e in D M inor (from the O pus 3                  W ith the Q uiessence cables the notes
the R end ez vou s with him in this issue.       SA C D O r g an T r easu r es, C D2 2 031 ). T his   came through with rhythm and delicacy,
E T I refers to both the cables and the          is a challenging recording, needless to              which is precisely what we had hoped for.
special v ersion of the B ullet Plugs as         say, but the Q uiessence cables didn’t hide          It was easy to imagine the mov ement of
“ hybrid.” E ichmann actually shuns the          many of its v irtues. T he powerful organ            water in dappled shade. T he rhythm was
symmetry many designers seek. T he               had plenty of body, yet at the same time             ex cellent, the melody lines clear. T he
central conductor of the Q uiessence             the complex ities of the smaller pipes               counterpoints were ex ceptional too.
cable is tellurium copper, but the ground        remained clear. T hose pipes seemed a                    W as anything missing? Reine’s atten-
return, which is also the shield, is made        little more distant, though we weren’t               tion wasn’t drawn to any problems, but
52 U LT R A HIG H F ID E L IT Y M a g a zin e
both Albert and Gerard thought the
hypnotic power of Tournier’s music (and
McDonald’s playing) was a little less
magical. Neither thought the difference
was a major one.
    We needed a female voice to com-
plete the evaluation, and — as often
happens — we selected that of Margie
Gibson, in the immensely amusing The
B est Thing For Y ou from S ay It W ith Music
(Sheffield CD-36 ). Would the cables            the Q100’s and the Atlas Mavros cables         deserved pointing out. “It’s super,” said
deliver less than the full dose of magic        we use as a reference. The Mavros are          Albert, “and there’s nothing more to be
this song provides when it is reproduced        designed for biwiring, whereas the             said.”
as it should be?                                Q100’s are not (well, you could always             We were prepared to give the two
    Indeed not, and this time we had no         buy two pairs, we suppose). To use the         Q100 cables very good marks. Of course
reservations. The piano was gorgeous,           ETI cables we needed to add jumpers,           cables cannot “create” the sound of a
with presence and a natural tone. The           and we installed a set of Atlas single-        system, because their role is essentially
subtle percussion was wonderfully clear.        crystal jumpers. They are very good, but       to pass the signal on with as little damage
And Margie was…                                 of course the ETI cables would be at a         as possible. Insofar as a cable changes
    Well, she was there, right in the room      slight disadvantage.                           the sound of a system, it is doing its job
with us. She was so real we could have              With cables and jumpers in place, we       poorly (there are some exceptions to this
reached out and touched her. At the same        ran the same three recordings again.           generalization, but it will mostly hold).
time, the depth was convincing, and the             Cable manufacturers like to say that       These two cables go well together, and
stereo image was stable. That was true          their wires are meant to go together, and      that can be a powerful argument for
with our reference cables too, but they         that they will sound best when operat-         buying them both.
cost a lot more than the Q100’s do.             ing with others of the same brand. We              And if you still think Keith Eich-
    We were pleased with these cables,          need hardly add that this is a self-serving    mann is a little crazy…well not so crazy
and the session made us wonder how              argument, but sometimes it can be true,        at all.
much better Keith Eichmann could do             and it seemed to be in this case.
for $8K.                                            In the Bach organ piece, the depth
    But the distributor had sent along
another cable in the series, this one for
                                                we had found too shallow had deepened,
                                                and the huge sound field had opened up                    Margie’s
our loudspeakers.                               to envelop us once more. Interesting!

The Q100 sp ea k er ca b les
                                                    H owever the volume still appeared
                                                to have been reduced (though it hadn’t                    b ack!
     These too are at the bottom of the         been), and the overall effect wasn’t quite
new Quiessence line, at $7 20 for the           as dazzling as it had been with our full set
3 metre pair we received.                       of (very expensive) reference cables. Nor
     One of the cables is shown on the          were the highs quite as smooth. Still,
next page. It has, as you can see, a “box”      we praised the richness of tone and the
close to the end, and we have seen that         great clarity, which was acquired without
before. MIT was the company most                harshness.
closely associated with this sort of “pas-          At the other end of the dynamic spec-
sive termination,” using capacitive and         trum, we also admired the sound of the
inductive components. Transparent               harp. “There might be a bit of mist on
Audio cables also use this principle, and       those arpeggios,” said Gerard, “but the
it is not alone.                                tone of the instrument comes through
     But Keith Eichmann says that’s not         wonderfully in both the soft and loud
what he’s doing at all, and that there are      passages, and you can sense the genius
no recognizable electronic parts in the
box. Rather it contains what Eichmann
                                                of McDonald’s playing.”
                                                    It was unanimous. “Sheer magic!” said
                                                                                                          A n d sh e’s at
calls a “Ground Nulling Circuit,” and
it is a wiring layout which, he claims,
                                                Reine. Added Albert, “Such beauty!”
                                                    We ended with the Margie Gibson
                                                                                                                Th e
optimizes signal fl ow. That sounds like
black magic, but we have learned not to
                                                song, and once again there were few
                                                reservations. Gerard thought the soft
                                                                                                           A u dio p h ile
laugh at Keith Eichmann.                        percussion might have become a little                          S to re
     There is a basic difference between        too subtle, but the difference barely
                                                                                                ULTRA HIGH FIDELITY Magazine           53

				
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